The Evil Within 2 Preview
The Evil Within returned survival horror to its roots with physiological disarray, suspense, an unforgiving level of difficulty, and visceral combat with limited ammo supply. Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks are back to continue the horrific tale of Sebastian Castellanos’ in the Evil Within 2. Following my hands-on time with the sequel at PAX West 2017, I can confidently state that the follow-up to 2014’s smash hit is significantly more twisted and ghastly than its precursor.
Sebastian Castellanos is back and in search of his daughter, Lily. This time around he’s teaming up with the mysterious Mobius organization, the group who caused all of his issues in the first game. He believes it’s the only way he can find his daughter and return to the life he knew before he paid a visit to the infamous Beacon Memorial Psychiatric Hospital. Castellanos is as cool as ever with subtle reactions to the most heinous abominations the human mind can conceive. I can’t even begin to describe the ten-foot tall contortion of arms and legs equipped with buzzsaws that barreled after me down the eerie hallways of a mansion. When I managed to briefly escape its pursuit, I found myself surrounded by bodies cloaked in sheets hanging by the neck in what appeared to be a ballroom. The psychological thrills are abounding as Castellanos is relentlessly thrust in and out of different realities. Just as I thought the coast was clear, I opened a door to a surprise visit from the game’s main antagonist, Stefano Valentini.
Following a blinding flash from his camera, I found myself in a dilapidated cabin, laden with toppled furniture and rotting food. I later encountered a woman attempting to force feed her son by smashing his face into a plate full of human flesh. Moments like that will quickly inform you that something may be off in this quaint little town of Union. Along the way, I collected the usual healing herbs, green gel, and sparse weapon materials. In the town square, I witnessed what appeared to be a soldier fleeing from a gang of zombies. He fled indoors and left me to deal with the undead bastards. With a mere three rounds of handgun ammo at my disposal, I decided to take the stealthy approach. As the inflicted townsfolk feasted upon the dead, I crept up from behind and stabbed them in the back of the cranium with a gratifying crunch. I managed to make my way inside unscathed and was introduced to O’Neal, the soldier who’d previously fled the scene.
Through his cool demeanor, Sebastian was able to defuse the hostile introduction. O’Neal informed me of our mutual goal of restoring the town’s core and handed me a signal tracker. Before beginning my pursuit of the nearby signal, I took advantage of everything within the safe house. By drinking a cup of coffee, I was able to restore my health to capacity. The safe house was littered with weapon parts and crafting materials to use at a workbench. I took time to craft a plethora of healing syringes and a pistol upgrade that improved its stability. I was informed that weapons can only be upgraded at workbenches, whereas consumables can be crafted anywhere through the arsenal menu. However, crafting items on the go consumes far more materials, so it’s always wise to find a workbench instead. Popping a squat in a safe house wheel chair enables you to upgrade your skills. I prefer to avoid direct confrontation with sadistic enemies as often as possible, so, I improved my stealth capabilities.
” To my own embarrassment, I actually yelped out loud in the Bethesda booth.”
I then made my way back into the dreary town and followed the faint frequency emitting from the signal tracker. For a fleeting moment, I was able to maneuver past streets flooded with zombies as I crept through backyards and open windows. Sadly I failed to a notice a zombie standing directly to my right as I proceeded into an open hallway. Its gut wrenching screams sent me sprinting into the streets as several of the flesh craving friends followed. I had no choice but to whip out my recently upgraded handgun and pop some skulls. The shooting mechanics feel as solid as they did in the previous game. Ammo is scarce, so I patiently took the time to line up head shots as the creatures closed in. Though one managed to bite a nasty chunk out of my neck, I successfully dropped them all. Just as I thought the area was clear, a quiet whisper echoed nearby. It repeatedly called out Sebastian’s name as I stood frozen with fear. Just as I mustered the courage to carry on, a shadowy, distorted figure came flying at my face as the screen cut to black. To my own embarrassment, I actually yelped out loud in the Bethesda booth.
The Evil Within 2 is shaping up to be as mechanically sound as its predecessor but is far more disturbing and gruesome. I imagine that the monsters I encountered were a paltry taste of the horrors awaiting Sebastian Castellanos in the full game. Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks continue to bless the survival horror genre, and from what I experienced at PAX West 2017, I trust that the Evil Within 2 will outshine the original in every way when it launches on Friday, October 13th. Which is very fitting I might add.